As part of the newly launched CLEANER LAGOS INITIATIVE (CLI) the State through the Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, has announced a robust plan to employ over 2% of its entire population over the next few years with the implementation of new environmental policies and procedures.
According to him, the CLI will have employ 25,000 community sanitation workers (CSW) who will be engaged mostly as street sweepers within the next 12 months. “Every sanitation worker will reside in the Ward they operate for convenience and to curb high cost of transportation to work. They will be well trained and given an attractive welfare package. In all, we hope to generate a total of about 45,000 new jobs directly.”
The main idea of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative is to create value and empower those at the bottom of the value chain. It allows citizens to finally be a part of the solution by taking responsibility for their immediate environment all while solving the challenge of poor waste management in their communities.
The sanitation workers will be well trained and equipped with protection gear (uniforms, gloves and boots) and equipment such as pickers, brushes, carts as well as mobile phones to communicate with the control centre. And will be well paid above the current federal minimum wage.
The benefits of a mass employment scheme such as this unprecedented effort and tie directly back to the Lagos State Government’s sustainability goals.
For example: CSWs will only be allowed to work in the communities they live here by reducing carbon footprint because they will not need to take public transportation which is better for the environment but also has added the advantage for the workers with virtually no transportation cost, there is more disposable incomes which they will be spending within their local communities.
The multiplier effect- from the income trickling down.
In a related development, The Lagos State Government has proposed a paradigm shift in the approach to environmental waste management filled with radical reforms and projects coming up in the near future.
Olusosun landfill that has been a dumping ground for years will soon become a model for urban renewal and waste to wealth initiatives being undertaken by the State.
Speaking at a press conference announcing the launch of the CLEANER LAGOS INITIATIVE, the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare stressed the Government’s commitment to finding renewable energy sources for the grossly underserved State.
He noted that five new power stations – one in each division in the state – will be built to generate electricity from waste, and that the numerous dumpsites dotting parts of the state will soon be a thing of the past.
“We are serious about meeting Lagos’ electricity needs because power is the key to economic freedom, we have shown in the past that renewable energy projects can work in Lagos with the use of solar energy but we have only just begun. We must harness expertise from the private sector and utility partners to work with us as we move towards a cleaner, healthier and sustainable Lagos.”
He added regarding the closure/post-closure plans for landfills across the State “We will close down Olusosun and Solus (dumpsites) sometime next year. Dumpsites are dangerous to health and the environment. The leachate and gas to be recovered from the proposed sanitary landfills will be put to good use.
“We plan to regenerate Olusosun and turn it into a park, where intercity buses will end their journey and would no longer be allowed to enter into the city. Passengers will from here now take taxis and intra-city buses to their destinations in town.